SBD/May 27, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Heineken Inks Extension With Champions League As Brewer Narrows Sponsorship Focus

Heineken signs three-year extension of its UEFA Champions League sponsorship
Heineken Int'l “has renewed its multi-million pound association with the UEFA Champions League amid a shake-up of the brand's sponsorship activities,” according to MARKETING magazine. The brewer signed a “three-year extension to the sponsorship, which will next be up for renewal at the end of the 2014-15 season.” Heineken has sponsored the Champions League since ’05. UEFA “has included rights for Heineken to use Facebook, YouTube and other social media channels in the new deal, while Heineken’s sponsorship will cover all territories around the world including Germany, which was previously excluded from the deal.” Heineken Global Activation Manager Hans Erik Tuijt said that the brewer “will cut back on some smaller sponsorships to concentrate on its association with major events such as London 2012, the Rugby World Cup, rugby’s Heineken Cup and the Champions League.” Tuijt: "We want to be associated with the premium events around the world. But it’s not what we sponsor, it’s how we sponsor it.” He added, “My view is that we should have fewer, bigger and better sponsorships" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 5/27). Analysts estimate that the deal is worth around $28M (REUTERS, 5/26). UEFA Events SA CEO David Taylor said that the organization "received 'significant other interest' from other brewers wanting to sponsor the Champions League but that Heineken had proved itself to be a good partner in promoting the tournament." In London, Peter Stiff notes UEFA, which makes about 75% of its Champions League money "from broadcasting and the rest from sponsors, will now seek to renegotiate other partner contracts with companies including Ford and Sony" (LONDON TIMES, 5/27).
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